TRIBUTE TO ABDOULIE DIBBA
BY HALIFA SALLAH
The world has lost a great treasure and the earth has gained a precious son. He has always had vision and mission to serve humanity and live his life as duty to country and people dictates. The farmers’ eyes have been plugged. Their mission was arrested as he laid waiting for people to pay their last respects. The pen of the fighter for the farmer and the common people has been broken.
The course which he took up as a young man to fight poverty made him to move from the former system of education where he gave knowledge, skills and values to pupils at Nyakoi Nursery School because of his patience and quiet gentle heart of a caring human being. He sought to sacrifice every ounce of his energy, mind and heart to ease the suffering of others at the expense of his personal development. He sought to add value to the life of others and the world rather than be enriched by them. From the classroom to the media he moved to address the complex problem of food, security and self-sufficiency.
He spent days and nights sleeping rough in the furthest corners of our motherland to witness the trials and tribulations of our common people. He documented their land degradation, dwindling income, fest infestations fertiliser shortages, poor harvest, poor marketing, crop losses, shortages of labour saving devises, shortages of production inputs and other hosts of problems faced by the farming community, he left no stone unturned in exposing the problems of changes faced by farmers for decades. This has earned him the recognition of all national and international organisations and institutions that have something to do with agriculture. He was frequently consulted and tasked to give a clear picture of the state of farming in The Gambia by those who are interested in facts in that sector. He is also a pioneer of the online radio Alternative Voice he and Amie Joof Cole operated at about 2008 which broadcast through internet happenings in The Gambia that most people were weary of. At that time very few people accessed online radio and the chains around the media at home was restricted. He was one of the first if not the first to break that chain.
His contribution is far reaching and enduring and is crowned by his effort. A day before he left the earth, he did all he could to put the Foroyaa FM on a sound footing. Up to few hours before he slept away without notice, he had spoken to the managing editor about giving the right orientation to the Foroyaa FM staff to give it a new start.
He worked to put back the eyes that had been plugged, restore the pen that had been broke and put on the shoes he had left behind to trod on the pathways he had walked for decades with enthusiasm and dedication in the spirit of love for country and people. It is that love for county and people that he lived for and he died leaving a shining example of what it means to put national interest before personal interest; love of country and people before self.
This is why, he will never die but shall live in the hearts and minds of those who care more about love of country and people than self.
Rest in peace, Abdoulie, rest in peace. You will never be forgotten.